Portugal vs Uruguay predictions: Shot-shy Celeste can subdue Selecao
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Simon Barlow
Spotlight
Diego Godin has played a key part in Uruguay's defence and will be looking for a record clean sheet against Portgual
Diego Godin has played a key part in Uruguay's defence and will be looking for a record clean sheet against Portgual

- Uruguay have kept five consecutive World Cup group-stage clean sheets 
- Both teams have not scored in seven of Portugal's last nine games 
- Recommended Bet: Both teams to score - No

Portugal will bid to make it two wins out of two when they take on Uruguay in a pivotal clash in Group H on Monday.

There could be a whiff of revenge in the air at Lusail Iconic Stadium as it was La Celeste that ended Portugal's involvement in the last World Cup at the last 16 stage, courtesy of Edinson Cavani's double strike.

There were few positives to come out of Uruguay's 0-0 draw against South Korea last week, but they remain as stubborn as ever in defence and could set a World Cup clean sheet record in this game.

Portugal were made to sweat for the three points as they got their campaign off a nervy start against Ghana with Cristiano Ronaldo responsible for winning and scoring the penalty that ensured he became the first man to score in five different World Cup finals.

Team news

Portugal could be unchanged, despite stuttering to the finish line against Ghana when Inaki Williams almost left goalkeeper Diogo Costa red-faced at the end.

Costa will keep his place in goal with Danilo Pereira and Ruben Dias in the centre of a four-man defence that will also feature Joao Cancelo and Raphael Guerreiro.

William Carvalho did well after his second-half introduction and could consequently depose Otavio from his starting berth, but that seems the only area where Fernando Santos might look to improve.

Rafael Leao came off the bench to score, but will almost certainly remain behind Ronaldo and Joao Felix in the pecking order of strikers.

Diego Alonso is expected to change his Uruguay side after their failure to threaten much against South Korea.

Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo continues to work his way back from injury, but is unlikely to be risked.

Any changes are unlikely in defence where Sergio Rochet will play behind a back four of Martín Caceres, Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Mathias Olivera.

Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur are safe in midfield but either or both of Matias Vecino and Facundo Pellistri could make way.

Lucas Torreira or Manuel Ugarte are options to come in as holders and potentially release Valverde to play further forward while Nicolas De la Cruz, Giorgian de Arrascaeta or Facundo Torres could be like-for-like replacements.

Darwin Nunez played well enough against South Korea to keep his place alongside the seemingly undroppable Luis Suarez with Edinson Cavani all set to remain in his impact substitute's role.

The stats

Uruguay's 0-0 draw with South Korea was the first World Cup match without a shot on target in this century.

La Celeste could become the first team to keep six consecutive World Cup group-stage clean sheets, having blanked Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia in their four previous games at that stage before Thursday's goalless draw.

Portugal have tasted defeat in just one of their last 13 group-stage games at the World Cup, that loss coming against Germany in 2014.

Bruno Fernandes created more chances than any other Portugal player against Ghana and became only the second player from his nation to provide two assists in a World Cup match, following in the footsteps of Jose Torres against Brazil back in 1966.

Bruno Fernandes provided two assists in Portugal's win over Ghana
Bruno Fernandes provided two assists in Portugal's win over Ghana

Prediction

Uruguay have more work to do than Portugal going into this game and, barring the set-piece chance that Diego Godin headed against the post, they offered little evidence that they can trouble their rivals.

The 2016 European champions dominated the Black Stars for long periods, but did reveal some vulnerability in defence.

Santos has options to change the balance of the team in order to prevent that from happening again and he also could make better use of his bench options.

Portugal are great frontrunners, having gone on to win their last six games when leading at half-time, but it is a different story when they concede first.

Uruguay's ability to shut up shop is almost unrivalled at international level, which makes the chances of both teams not finding the back of the net here — available at 4/5 with LiveScore Bet — an intriguing prospect.

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PortugalUruguayWorld CupCristiano Ronaldo
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